Bank and tech stocks fall the most; energy stocks rise

U.S. stocks declined in early trading Tuesday as investors returned from the Labor Day holiday weekend. Banks and technology companies were down more than the rest of the market. Energy companies led the gainers as the price of crude oil headed up.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 6 points, or 0.3%, at 2,470 as of 10:12 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 96 points, or 0.4%, to 21,890. The Nasdaq composite fell 13 points, or 0.2%, to 6,421. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose less than 1 point to 1,414. Stocks were coming off back-to-back weekly gains.

BANKING SLUMP: Financial sector companies were down the most. XL Group slid 4.5% to $38.78, while Brighthouse Financial declined 3.9% to $55.26. Goldman Sachs fell 2.6% to $219.99.

TECH SLIDE: Traders sold off technology shares. Nvidia fell 1.5% to $167.87. Applied Materials went down 1% to $44.67.

ENERGIZED: Gains in crude prices helped lift shares in oil producers and other energy industry companies. Baker Hughes climbed 3.2% to $35.40. Halliburton rose 2.2% to $39.75.

GEOPOLITICAL JITTERS: Investors had their eye on developments in the Korean Peninsula. South Korean warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea following U.S. warnings of a “massive military response” after North Korea’s biggest nuclear test to date. The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting and American Ambassador Nikki Haley said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “begging for war.”

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.10% from Friday’s 2.17%.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.45, or 3%, to $48.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.02, or 2%, to $53.36 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 109.15 yen from Monday’s 109.72 yen. The euro rose to $1.1909 from $1.1897.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX climbed 0.7%, while the CAC 40 in France was up 0.1%. London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.1% after a survey of business activity showed a slowdown. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.6%, Seoul’s Kospi slipped 0.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1%.


8 a.m.: This article was updated with market prices and context.

This article was originally published at 6:50 a.m.

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